An update on the Building Safety Act 2022 commencements

The Building Safety Act 2022 was introduced in response to the Grenfell Tower disaster, which sadly claimed 72 lives in June 2017. The tragedy resulted in a call to reform the way that fire safety is regulated in the UK. The 2022 Act aims to prevent such a catastrophe from happening again by imposing stricter regulations on fire safety in buildings.

Although the Act was published in May 2022, large portions of it were not immediately enforced and it was stated that these portions would be enforced by future regulations, known as commencements. Since then, we have had four commencements with more to come, and the full implementation of the Act is not expected until October 2023. In this article, we will examine the four commencements and their contents.

The Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No. 1, Transitional and Saving Provisions) Regulations 2022

The first commencement to be introduced was published in May 2022, right after the initial Act came into force, and outlined a range of sections of the Act that would be introduced between May 2022 and June 2022.

Some of the key parts to be introduced over this time were the building liability orders (sections 130, 131 & 132), housing complaints made to a housing ombudsman (section 160) and strategic planning to be done by the regulator (sections 17 & 18).

The Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No. 1) (Wales) Regulations 2022

The second commencement made was in July 2022 and applies only to Wales. Section 48 on the removal of insurance requirements was bought into force, with the effect of removing any insurance requirements for approved inspectors under the Act.

The Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No. 2) Regulations 2022

The third commencement came into force at the end of August 2022 and introduced the powers relating to schemes for developers (sections 126 & 127) and the prohibitions on building control (section 129) and the development of land (section 128).

Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No. 3 and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2022

The final commencement that has so far been released came into force at the start of December 2022. It introduced the key duty of the new regulator to facilitate building safety in higher-risk buildings (section 4). It also bought into force the requirements for the regulator to establish building advisory committees (section 9) and residents’ panels (section 11).